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The Cure for Grief: A Novel by Nellie…

The Cure for Grief: A Novel

by Nellie Hermann

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Well, as I feared, there is no cure for grief. Beautiful book and one I needed to read though I cried many times during the process. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Mar 27, 2014 |
Really 2-and-a-half. ( )
  cat-ballou | Apr 2, 2013 |
"The Cure for Grief" explores the theme of loss and the way individuals deal with personal tragedies. The novel is told from the perspective of Ruby, the youngest of four children and the only girl in the Bronstein family. As a series of deaths and illnesses befall the family, Ruby deals with her grief by pushing it back and attempting to lead a normal life. She puts on a facade of 'everything is OK' and rarely confides in anyone, all the while the grief is eating her up on the inside. The culmination of the novel occurs when the pent up feelings become too much for Ruby, she explodes and then finds control over her emotions, and learns to live with and move on from the loss she has experienced as a child.

Hermann writes beautifully, her descriptions are creative and well thought-out. While reading the book I thought that such intensity of feelings would be hard to describe unless one experienced them; it was interesting to read in Hermann's blog that the novel was inspired by her own "terrors of adolescence".

While I enjoyed the book and do think that Hermann is a talented writer, I failed to connect with the characters as I normally do when I read fictional work. I could not imagine Ruby as a person - what she would look like, act like, etc. So much effort was dedicated to describing her inner thoughts that there was no sense of Ruby outside of her head, and the novel dragged on towards a predictable end. ( )
1 vote verka6811 | Apr 1, 2009 |
The Cure for Grief by Nellie Hermann is a beautifully told story of a young girl’s tragic family. We meet Ruby when she is 9 and her family is vacationing in Maine. Ruby is the youngest of four children. Her three brothers are considerably older than she and all close in age to each other. The reader learns they are a close-knit family, sharing time together and enjoying each other’s company. Ruby’s father is a holocaust survivor who has suffered the loss of both parents during that time. A year later, Ruby’s oldest brother Abe is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and life in their family is changed forever. There are more tragedies in store for the Bronstein family as the years pass.

This is an eloquently told story with exquisite writing, rather remarkable for a first novel. My only criticism is that Ruby’s depression over her family’s tragedies is so overwhelming; I had to wonder how she functioned on a day-to-day basis. Ruby is selective in who she tells about her family and their tragedies, sharing the story of her brother Nathan’s terminal illness with only one friend while keeping it from the young man she talks to on the phone every night.

I found the description of Ruby’s depression quite well drawn. It is a well told story of living through the reality of the struggles life hands you. The story gives insight into the dark abyss that is depression ( )
  readingrebecca | Oct 21, 2008 |
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Ruby is the youngest child in the tightly knit Bronstein family, a sensitive, observant girl who looks up to her older brothers and is in awe of her stern but gentle father, a Holocaust survivor whose past and deep sense of morality inform the family's life. But when Ruby is ten, her eldest brother enters the hospital and emerges as someone she barely recognizes. It is only the first in a startling series of tragedies that befall the Bronsteins and leave Ruby reeling from sorrow and disbelief. As Ruby's family fractures, she finds solace in friendships and the beginnings of romance, in the normalcy of summer camp and the prom. But her anger and heartache shadow these experiences, separating her from those she loves, until she chooses to reconcile what she has lost with whom she has become.… (more)

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